Our cantaloupes are in now–coming in faster than we can get rid of them.
We grow the old Hale’s Best variety, a sweet heirloom. We let the melons fully ripen on the vine and we pick them full slip, when the stems just fall off when the melon is lifted. It’s sad how few people have had the pleasure of eating a full slip heirloom melon. Notice how little rind is on this melon.
Of course we and our CSA members are enjoying the melons. We’ve also been privileged to give lots of them away. Our pigs and chickens love it when we have some that are going soft.
Here’s a little trivia. What we call “cantaloupes” in this country (including the melons we grow) are actually muskmelons. True cantaloupes aren’t grown in the U.S. I don’t know how the word “cantaloupe” came to replace muskmelon. My Grandpa always called them muskmelons (though it sounded like he was saying “mushmelons”). I suspect someone decided “cantaloupe” was more appetizing that “muskmelon,” just as “canola” replaced “rape.”
In any event, our cantaloupes/muskmelons are delicious this year. I encourage everyone to get out to your local farmer’s market and try to find some. Ask specifically for the Hale’s Best variety.
I’m looking out the window at 5 young wild turkeys walking around in the pasture and realizing it’s time for me to get off the computer and go pick cantaloupes.